Boy Scouts Cut Troops For Supporting Gay Scoutmaster, So It's Time They Learn Something From The Girl Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America has a notoriously terrible policy about LGBT members, and it doesn't look like it's going away. Although the youth-oriented organization recently altered some of its LGBTQ policies, it turns out the Boy Scouts have revoked the charter of two Seattle troops because they supported an openly gay scoutmaster. Ugh.
Last March, the BSA removed Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath from his post because of his sexual orientation. But McGrath fortunately had the support of not only the two scouting units, Troop 98 and Pack 98, but also Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro, who serves at the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church (where the scouts hold their meetings). Corsaro, being a decent human refused to remove McGrath from his position.
“Based on our religious principles, we will continue to act as an autonomous church that does not discriminate,” Cosaro said in a statement.
Although Cosaro initially said that meetings would continue at the church, she told NBC News Monday that the two scouting units will be moved to a local community center. Her church will still provide a youth program.
Meanwhile, Boy Scout spokesman Deron Smith said that he was "saddened by the development. However, it was the only decision for the BSA because "the church no longer agrees to the terms of the BSA chartered organization agreement."
The organization Scouts for Equality is rightfully upset over the recent incident, questioning BSA's "commitment to leadership" and seemingly outdated values. “The Boy Scouts’ decisions only serve to hurt a group of boys who need the values and leadership of someone like Scoutmaster McGrath,” said Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality.
For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America denied openly gay members. It wasn't until Jan. 1, 2014 that the organization lifted the ban — but only on members younger than 18. Members, including scoutmasters, older than 18 must hide their sexual orientation or else risk being ousted.
It's interesting how the BSA's LGBTQ policies wildly differ from the Girl Scouts of America, which has long supported for LGBTQ equality, and continues to advocate for gender and race equality. In 1991, the GSA released a statement on its sexual orientation guidelines:
As a private organization, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. respects the values and beliefs of each of its members and does not intrude into personal matters. Therefore, there are no membership policies on sexual preference.
The GSA also doesn't have any restrictions on religion, unlike the BSA, which prohibits agnostics and atheists from its ranks. In fact, the GSA's call for inclusivity means the organization has racked up a number of haters over the years, including the Catholic Church. But considering the Girl Scouts still have no problem selling Thin Mints outside of supermarkets to great success, maybe the Boy Scouts can learn a little something from the Girls.